No. 14.—The Mouse.
THE PLURAL OF “mouse” is “mice,” just as the plural of “louse” is “lice” and the plural of “grouse” is “grice.” The irregular declension of the noun in English is a further indication, if any were needed, that with the mouse we are not dealing with an ordinary wild beast of the field. Mice are fiendishly intelligent creatures, easily able to outwit the run-of-the-mill human intelligences ordinarily pitted against them. The only creature able to outwit a mouse, and that only occasionally, is a cat; but, as cats also employ their intelligence for wicked ends, it is scarcely necessary to point out that introducing a cat to a mouse-infested house is tantamount to enslaving oneself to the forces of darkness.
Some homeowners attempt to repel mice with devices that emit pulses of high-frequency sound. These devices are nothing more than disco sound systems for mice. Mice come from all over the neighborhood to dance on your kitchen counter to the beat of the high-frequency pulses. It is a filthy and decadent habit, like most habits mice fall into, and should not be encouraged.
Desperate homeowners often resort to mousetraps, but it goes without saying that mice cannot be fooled by so simple a mechanism. The mice one finds occasionally in such traps are the victims of other mice, sacrificed in dark and devilish rituals to the demonic gods of rodent mythology.
Mice subsist primarily on whatever you were planning on eating the next day. They believe that the entire world was created for their benefit, and that they have a perfect right senselessly to destroy what they cannot use. In this they resemble certain other species that infest our planet, but Dr. Boli does not wish to give offense unnecessarily.
It has been suggested by no less an authority than Dr. Boli himself that there may be mice on Mars.
Allegorically, mice represent Industry, which in a capitalist society is ordinarily left in the hands of individuals who share the ethical philosophy of the mouse.